Unknown Jharkahand Tribals Cultures and Textiles
Jharkhand located in the Northeastern part of the country, bordered by the states of Bihar to the North, West Bengal to the East, Odisha to the South, Chattisgarh to the West and Uttar Pradesh to the northwest.
On this tour we are travelling to 3 states. Darbanga, Patna & Bodhgaya are in Bihar state. Hazaribagh, Ranchi & Jamshedpur in Jharkhand state and Bishnupur & Calcutta in West Bengal.
This tour is moist suited for people who have traveled to India previously and who are seeking to visit places not yet so visited by westerners. You hold dear with a smile the ways things work in India and unexpected adventures that can arise. You do not mind accommodations that will not have any frills; though they will all be clean and with western style private attached bathrooms. Roads are good throughout except for some village excursions.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi, met & transfer to hotel The Lalit
Day 2: Delhi The Lalit
Morning rest after long flight.
This afternoon we will venture out with our guide. The program is to be announced once we have become familiar with the past experiences of the participants so that we can offer a unique afternoon, not the usual sightseeing that you have already done on past trips.
Day 3: Delhi – Patna / Hotel Maurya Patna
Transfer to airport for flight to Patna; G8 140 depart 10.50 / arrive 12.30.
Transfer to the hotel for check-in and lunch at a local restaurant.
This afternoon we’ll visit the Folk Art Museum, Gurudwara Patna Sahib & Patna Museum.
Folk Art Museum is located in Chhajjubagh at Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir. It was established in the year 1963 and is home to various folk musical instruments, costumes and jewelry. Ceramic specimens from 500 BC to 500 AD along with collection of terracotta are also displayed in the museum.
Takht Sri Patna Sahib, commonly known as Gurudwara Patna Sahib, is a gurudwara built in the fond memory of Guru Gobind Singh, who was born at this very place. Guru Gobind Singh was born on 22nd December, 1666 and was the tenth Guru of Sikhism. Situated at the banks of the holy Ganga River, Gurudwara Patna Sahib was constructed by the first Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh during his reign from 1780 to 1839.
This place is considered as one of the five sacred thrones or Takhts among Sikhs. Guru Tegh Bahadur stayed at this place along with his wife, after travelling from cities like Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Delhi, Agra, Etawah, Kanpur, Allahabad, Banaras, Sasaram and Gaya. When Guru Tegh Bahadur and his wife came to Patna, they stayed at Jaitamal’s house.
Later Ghanshyam, the great grandson of Adhraka, brought them to Salis Rai Johri’s Sangat, which is now commonly known as Takht Sri Harmandirji or the birth place of Sri Guru Gobind Singh. The tenth Guru has also praised a lot about this place in his autobiography called Bachitra Natak.
This Gurudwara Patna Sahib is considered the epicenter for Sikhism in eastern India. It is home to many of the belongings of the 10th Guru of Sikhism. Many of them include a cradle, also known as the Pangura, which has four gold plated stands and is said to be the sleeping cradle of the tenth Guru himself during his infancy. Further, there are four iron arrows, a sacred sword of the Guru, a pair of sandals kept in this temple.
Patna Museum (Monday Closed) is located about 1 km from central Patna. Built in 1917 during the British rule, this museum is constructed in Mughal and Rajput architectural style and is commonly called Jadu Ghar. The museum showcases several metal and stone sculptures that date back to the Gupta and Mauryan Eras as well as eccentric terracotta figures.
The museum contains paintings from the British Empire along with paintings related to the life of the first prime minister of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad. It is also home to the First World War cannon and a 16 m long fossilized tree, which is around 200 million years old and is considered as the longest fossilized tree in the world.
Although the museum looks old and faded on the outside it still has a splendid collection of Buddhist sculptures, Jain images, Buddhist Bodhisattvas, and Chinese art. One of the major attractions of the museum is a sandstone piece of Yakshi or a female attendant, who is holding a flying whisk.
Day 4: Patna-Darbhanga (140 km / 3.5hrs) / Shyama Regency
This morning drive to Darbhanga (3.5 hrs). Transfer to hotel.
After lunch we visit Chandradhari Museum, located on the eastern bank of Mansarovar Lake. It was built in the year 1957. This Museum is popular for its 11 wonderful halls that provide artifacts of different categories. It also has library facilities.
Day 5: Excursion to Madhuvani (approx 40 km,/1 hr one way) / Shyama Regency
Full day excursion to Madhuvani to see the Madhubani paintings originated from a small town in Bihar called Madhubani in Mithali Region.
Although the time of origin of Madhubani is not clear, some say that it is as old and prevalent from the time of Ramayana when king Janak called for artists to make paintings during the marriage of her daughter Sita to Lord Ram. However it was not till mid 20th century when the Mithali region was struck by a famine, that Madhubani paintings saw the outside world. It was the All India Handicraft board that advised the women folk of the village to produce their paintings on handmade paper and sell them for non-agricultural income. Since then, Madhubani paintings have become the major source of income for most of the families in Madhubani Village.
The art form is practiced mainly by Hindu women in Madhubani Town and nearby areas. To maintain the tradition, the practices are then taught to their daughters. As the paintings were not sold or taken out of their homes, it remained largely uninfluenced by the outside world. Thus retaining the originality and uniqueness of this wonderful tribal art form. Even now, many of the magnificent works remain anonymous as the artists are either illiterate or reluctant to write their name on their creation. Some of them don’t even consider it a work of art.
Return to Darbhanga for overnight.
Day 6: Darbhanga – Nalanda – Rajgir – Bodhgaya (260 km / 6 hrs) / Hotel
Today drive to Bodhgaya visiting Nalanda and Rajgir en-route.
En-route visit Nalanda, a great Buddhist center for more than 1000 years until the monastery, school and library were sacked and burnt by Muslims. Nalanda is believed to be the oldest university in the world. Founded in the 5th century BC, it became a renowned centre of Buddhist and Jain learning. Hieun Tsang, the Chinese traveler, spent several years here in the 7th century AD.
Nalanda Archaeological Museum has a magnificent collection of Pali and Mauryan statues, bronze and manuscripts. Nalanda Mahavihara an institute for the study of Pali literature houses rare Buddhist manuscripts. Though Buddha visited Nalanda several times during his lifetime, this famous centre of Buddhist learning shot to fame much later, during 5th – 12th centuries. The Chinese scholar and traveler Hiuen Tsang stayed here in the 7th century, and has left an elaborate description of the excellence, and purity of monastic life practiced here. About 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students from all over the Buddhist world, have lived and studied in this international university.
Continue to Rajgir and visit Vulture Peak, which takes its name from the shape of the rock where the Buddha spent many years of his life. In this sacred place, he gave important teachings on the Prajnaparamita (known as the Heart Sutra), literally meaning “the heart of the perfection of understanding.”
Regularly sung by the followers of Buddhism at meetings and practices dedicated to meditation, it contains the key concepts of Buddhism. It includes the five skandhas (which are the means by which we are aware), the four noble truths, the cycle of interdependence and the central concept of Buddhism, emptiness. It is said that even if you are not aware of emptiness, you can recognize that there is suffering in your mind, and if you recite the Heart Sutra and the mantra, meditating on its’ meaning, the trust will be born in you.
Continue to Bodhgaya, approx 1hour 15 minutes.
Day 7: Bodhgaya
Bodhgaya, one of the most important and sacred Buddhist pilgrimage centers in the world. It was here under a banyan tree, the Bodhi Tree, Gautama attained supreme knowledge to become Buddha, the Enlightened One. The serenity of the atmosphere remains in the subconscious soul of any visitor who takes the village as a pilgrimage that the Lord himself had chosen for meditation.
Today full day sightseeing of Bodhgaya. Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhi Tree, Dhungeshori, Niranjana River, Sujata Village and Sujata Temple where Sujata, the girl of village chief, offered milk to Gautama when he was found unconscious; Vajrasana, Animeshlocan Chaiyata, Bodhi Sarovar, Vishnupada Temple, Archaeological Museum of Bodhgaya, Japanese Buddha Temple, Thai temple and many more.
A highlight is the magnificent Mahabodhi temple and the Tree from the original sapling still stands in the temple premises. The temple is an architectural amalgamation of many centuries, cultures and heritages. While its architecture has a distinct stamp of the Gupta era, it has later ages inscriptions describing visits of pilgrims from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China between 7th and 10th century AD. It is perhaps still the same temple Hieuen Tsang visited in 7th century.
The 25m-high Great Buddha Statue towers above a pleasant garden at the end of the temple. The impressive monument was unveiled by the Dalai Lama in 1989, and is surrounded by 10 smaller sculptures of Buddha’s disciples. The statue is partially hollow and is said to contain some 20,000 bronze Buddhas.
Day 8: Bodhgaya – Hazaribagh (119 km / 3.5hrs) / Hotel Canary Inn
Today we enter Jharkhand state. On the way to Hazaribagh we’ll stop to visit Itkhori, site of Bhadrakali Temple, which devotees recognize as a shivling, actually has around 1,008 figurines of Buddha carved on it. Itkhori is a wonderful place with abundance of historic reminiscences and archaeological remnants demonstrating a breathtaking saga of religious tolerance and cultural unity. There are various Buddhist Relics at Itkhori dated from 200 B.C to 1200 A.D. Itkhori’s name also has a legend connected to Buddhism.
On arrival check into hotel and lunch.
Late afternoon visit The Urban Haat, located about 3 km from the town of Hazaribagh. This Haat has been the result of the efforts of the Jharkhand Government, which displays and sells works created by the native artisans of Hazaribagh and surrounding areas of Jharkhand. The Urban Haat is a preferred destination for the art-lovers of the city. Figures made of terracotta, Sohari paintings, products of leather, handloom garments, furniture and much more are sold at this Haat. The stalls inside this Haat have been painted of late with Sohrai, adding an aesthetic look to the place. There is also a canteen located within the area of the Haat.
Day 9: Excursion to Villages: Cave Art Painting & Dhokra Art // Hotel Canary Inn
This morning visit Bhelwara village to see the painted houses. The two art forms practiced in Hazaribagh are the Sohraj and Khovar, which cannot be easily spotted in the main town, but can be seen in certain villages like Bhelwara.
The art form Sohraj, being practiced throughout the harvest season uses various imageries of wildlife and nature. With industrialization and modernization, this form is getting restricted only to paintings which are done on some houses and on hand-made papers to keep the form alive. These are exhibited and sold at the Jharcraft emporium in the Urban Haat of Hazaribagh. Some specimens of such art forms can be seen in the Sanskriti Museum and Art Gallery.
The colorful paintings of Sohraj style involves the use of natural pigments that are mixed with mud as colors, water to lighten it and a stick of a tree to mix the color, which is generally used to brush the teeth. There are stylistic similarities between the styles of Sohraj and rock arts of Isco. On the other hand, Khovar comes from two words, namely ‘Koh” or “Kho” that means cave like structure and “var” that means husband. This art form is basically practiced in the marriage season and the houses are painted to identify the bonding.
Dhokra Art is brass-work (metal craft) done by the Malhore castes of the state. Brass is a combination of copper and bronze. The artisans of Jharkhand practice the traditional “Lost Wax Technique” to craft their imaginations. They use wax, resin and firewood from the forests, clay from the riverbed and make the firing oven in a hole dug in the ground. Through the craft the artists present the different aspects of life.
We will also visit tribal village nearby.
Day 10: Hazaribagh – Ranchi (100 km/2 hrs) / Chanakya BNR Hotel
After breakfast drive to Ranchi, check into hotel.
This afternoon a half day tour including Pahadi Mandir, Rock Garden, Aquarium, Nakshatra Van, Jagannath temple and Tagore hill.
We will also visit the tribal village near Jonha. Return to Ranchi Hotel
Day 11: Ranchi Tour – Tasar Textile Tour and Excursion to Naisarai / Chanakya BNR Hotel
This morning visit the Tribal Research Institute and Museum.
Afternoon visit the textile sector. Jharkhand is known for its Tasar silk varieties across India with growing Impetus on export.
Day 12: Ranchi – Jamshedpur (129 km/2 hrs) / Fortune Park Centre Point
Today we will proceed to Jamshedpur- The Steel City of India. This illustrious industrial township put modern India squarely on the World map- it is a model city, surrounded by many industries and the most scenic landscapes.
On the way we stop at Dasam Fall where Kanchi river falls from a height of 144 feet), and then tour Surya Mandir and Tribal villages Tamara and Ulihatu the birthplace of Birsa Munda who fought with British for freedom.
Continue and check in to hotel.
Jamshedpur happens to be one of the most culturally enriched cities in the eastern region. With a community that may very well be called a microcosm of India, it is a place that encourages new trends in art and culture while preserving tradition and heritage in a proactive manner. A number of events and exhibitions are organized in which the Country’s leading artists and internationally acclaimed personalities participate. Tata Steel has always taken various initiatives to promote talent in every field and thus the City offers ample opportunities to people who are culturally inclined.
Day 13: Amadubi rural with Ghatsila (Art & Culture Tour) / Fortune Park Centre Point
We start with a tour of Ghatshila which includes Buridih Lake, Daragiri Falls, Maobhandar, Bibhuti Bihar Complex and Fuldungri.
Next we visit Amadubi, a recreated village of the Chitrakars who painted on scrolls made from leaves and barks of trees, relating the legends of the past, through a series of pictures. The art is known as PYATKAR art rarely heard of in the towns and cities. Here you can see the artists at work and buy Pyatkar paintings scrollon cloth/paper, framed in bamboo, Dokra or Teak wood frame; kurtas & kurtis; cushion covers, silk scarfs, shawls and also Dokra crafts.
Back to hotel for overnight.
Day 14: Saraikela-Kharsava
Seraikela is the new district headquarters of Jharkhand state. of Southern fringe-commands fame in the country and abroad for her unique art, the Chhau Dance. Seraikela is a small town and sleepy hamlet on the bank of the river Kharkai.
The Govt. Chhau dance Centre Seraikela was established by the state Govt. in the year 1960/61 for preservation, propagation and development of the celebrated art in all its beauty and fragrance. The Centre, since its inception has been instrumental in popularizing the Chhau dance all over the national and international art areas. The Centre has participated in a number of reputed national and international cultural events such as festival of India, France, and U.S.S.R, JAPAN and through cultural exchange program in South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and other European and Asian countries. The Centre participate in so many cultural events seminar, workshop, demonstration /lecture all over the state/U.T. The Centre has successfully trained about 500 students.
In Seraikela we may have an opportunity to visit Royal family (Bikram Pratap Singh Deo) during lunch followed by CHHAU dance. (Royal family visit will be subject to availability, to be confirmed closer to the dates).
Day 15: Drive Jamshedpur – Bishupur (190 km/6 hrs) / Tourist Lodge
After breakfast drive to Bishnupur en-route visit craft village Bagmukhi, where the local people make paper mache masks.
Transfer to hotel for check-in.
Afternoon tour of Bishnupur, known for its jewel-box terracotta temples. The Shyama Raya temple was built in 1643 and is completely covered with terracotta friezes depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the life of Lord Krishna. The Rasa Mancha temple resembles a flattened pyramid and features 108 symmetric pillars around its base. Other temples to be visited include Jor Bangla, Madan Mohan and Shridhara. After dinner we will return again to these temples, which are beautifully illuminated every evening.
Day 16: Bishupur
Morning visit to a village of potters that create the region’s famed Bankura horse votives out of red terracotta.
This will be followed by a visit to local Baluchari sari weavers, whose magnificent silk-on-silk embroidered textiles and garments are sought after by women all over India. We will next meet several artisans that carve intricate blowing shells and bracelets out of conch shell. The bracelets, which are often inlaid with red lac or gold, symbolize in West Bengal that the wearer is married.
Day 17: Bishnupur – Calcutta (168 km/ 4 hrs)
Drive to Kolkata, on arrival transfer to hotel near airport for wash and change; late night transfer to International airport for flight to onward destination